Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has handed off the Office, mobile and gaming businesses to three presidents and has decided to make the gaming and mobile units separate entities.
Microsoft announced the executive changes and appointments on October 1, and posted Ballmer's e-mail to the company's employees covering the moves.
Those who had been expecting Windows President Steven Sinofsky to get the Mobile Communications Business -- as has been rumored for months -- will be disappointed or relieved (depending on your perspective). Ballmer named Andy Lees the new President of the Mobile Communications Business.
Ballmer named Don Matrick President of the Interactive Entertainment Business. Up until the resignation of President Robbie Bach, Microsoft had combined the mobile and gaming businesses into the Entertainment and Devices Division under Bach. Ballmer had been running the Entertainment and Devices division himself, with Matrick and Lees reporting directly to him, since earlier this summer.
Ballmer also named Kurt DelBene the new President of the Microsoft Business Division, the group that has included Office, SharePoint and the Microsoft ERP and CRM apps. DelBene takes the place of Steven Elop, who recently left Microsoft to run Nokia. However, somewhat curiously, DelBene is not going to run the Microsoft Business Division under the new structure. Instead, Kirill Tatarinov will continue to run MBS and report directly to Ballmer, not DelBene. Ballmer also was running the Microsoft Business Division for a brief time before naming DelBene as the new chief.
As of today, there are now six Microsoft presidents: Lees, Mattrick, DelBene, Sinofsky, Server & Tools chief Bob Muglia and Online Services leader Qi Lu. There are only five P&L (profit and loss) centers that will report earnings, however, as Lees' and Mattricks' units will report in together when they announce their financials, the Softies said.